Essay Example on Going Global: Essential Ethical Standards for Businesses

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1880 Words
Date:  2023-05-23


Every business has some ethical standards. There are some fundamental ethical standards like promoting trust and integrity in an organization. When a company decides to go global, there are some guidelines which it is supposed to follow. Nowadays, customers are also checking whether a business is ethical. Unethical conduct may lead to the company losing some customers. When the firm plans to expand its market to foreign countries, the focus should not be on the mother country alone. Beyond understanding the vision and objectives of the company, the employees need to familiarize themselves with international ethical standards and legal standards. Ethics and law should be differentiated, as they are not the same. Ethics is the standard human conduct, while the law is the rules and regulations which govern the people (Titus & Bradford, 1996). Other people assume that religion and ethics is the same. Although many religions teach how followers should live, ethics is universal to all faiths. Failing to understand the culture of a country can make the business not to thrive. Every nation has its own culture; there some expectations of the people living there. However, there are some unifying factors in the global market. The paper explores the critical ethical issues in international business.

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The Relation with Employees

The managers of multinational corporations must make ethical decisions to ensure that the employees' rights are protected at all costs. For an organization to thrive, it must take care of its human resources (Kolk, 2016). The business must create a climate of mutual respect for all the employees. When there is an excellent environment in which the employees are working, there is a likelihood to be more innovation. When the employees' needs are put into consideration, they usually become part of the organization. The motivated staffs are likely to come up with solutions to the challenges facing the company.

At the global level, various regulations guide how the employees are supposed to be treated. Companies that operate beyond borders are supposed to know what is expected of them in the new countries. They must observe the standards in foreign countries. Failure to obey the law can make the company face serious legal consequences. It can also lead to the customers boycotting the company's products. For example, if there is a set minimum wage per hour, it should be observed strictly (Kolk, 2016).

There are some fundamental rights that businesses should observe when they decide to go global. Freedom of expression should be allowed. It is only through such that the company can understand what it is not doing right. There are various ways in which the company can get feedback from its employees. The use of suggestion boxes is one of them since some employees will not like to be known that they are the ones who complained about something. Some challenges in the human resource sector are experienced worldwide. Some of these problems include sexual harassment, which is unethical behavior (Kolk, 2016). There are different punishments for such offenses in various countries.

In some international organizations, the management may practice discrimination. A particular gender or race may be discriminated. When businesses go global, they should know that there are people who have a different culture from their own. Employment and promotions should be done relatively and be based on merit. Some corporations employ people of a particular race in certain positions, and this may pose serious issues when members of the community realize this. Others believe that women cannot take leadership positions, and so even in the foreign country, they are denied the opportunity. Discrimination should be avoided when the firm decides to go global. There should be an international image in every aspect of the company. Some laws exist to protect the employees from unjust treatment. When a company is identified to practice discrimination, the reputation is ruined leading to a significant decrease in sales. The business is supposed to be socially responsible to the people living in the nearby community.

There are many ethical issues relating to business and its employees. The human resource is essential in any business. The success of the business depends on the quality of human resources and how well they are motivated. Companies should ensure that the employees have safety gear to protect them in the workplace. Exposing the employees to danger is unethical. The harmful substance may be inhaled, or sometimes the employee can get a physical injury.

Relation with the Customers

For a business to be successful, it must meet the needs of the customers without exploiting them. Some of the ways in which the customers take advantage of the customers include selling products that are not of the right quality and quantity. Clients should see the value of their money in what they buy. Some businesses exaggerate their prices at times of crises or even hold them so that they can sell at a higher rate (Ardichvili et al., 2009). Such practices are unethical. Ruining the relationship between the customers and the businesses through such practices can lead to the firm collapsing when the unethical behavior is realized.

The customer is the king. A business that seeks to extend its operations beyond the mother country should familiarize itself with the legal laws which protect the customer. There are times when some businesses are charged for exploiting customers. The consumers may be advised to boycott certain products due to the company's behavior of exploiting the customers. Business nowadays is about creating a good relationship with its customers.

Serious issues of ethical behavior come when organization conduct is not only unethical, but it poses a danger also to the health and nutrition of the people. An example is when McDonald faced its biggest ethical challenge. Critics claimed that McDonald's fast foods were a significant contributor to the increasing rates of obesity (Kasser & Sheldon, 2009). The company is the biggest supplier of fast food in the world. McDonald's was under attack because it failed to balance the menu leading to people consuming unhealthy food that led to weight increase. There was no proper description of the content in fast food. According to commercial law, it is a requirement to describe packed products (Kolk, 2016). The description should match what is inside. It was also claimed that it encourages customers, especially children, to make unhealthy decisions by purchasing significant portions. The advertisement is also an ethical issue. A company is not supposed to mislead consumers through ads.

There are several cases of unethical manipulation, which does not necessarily mean that it is illegal (Spiller, 2000). Most people tend to believe what is advertised, and in most cases, companies take that chance to manipulate the customers. For example, a company may inform the customers that chewing a particular gum replaces the brushing of teeth. The information is manipulative because the mouth may have a fresh smell, but the residuals which remain in the teeth will still be in the mouth. People who believe that and fail to brush may later have problems since there are sugars that are left in the teeth.

Any unethical practice in the company is likely to be exposed to the community. The staff in the organizations sees what happens and assume the people who are manipulated could be their families or friends. The employees are the ones who reveal most issues that occur inside the company. There is no hidden issue that remains in the dark for long.

Relation with the Environment

Companies intending to go global must understand the legal regulations which are in the foreign company. Beyond following the international standards for environmental protection, the company must also observe the law and regulations in the individual countries (Spiller, 2000). The environment must be protected at all costs by the humankind. Sometimes it is expensive to adhere to all the regulations because it is costly, and businesses need to remain competitive. Companies are expected to preserve the environment by avoiding emitting untreated waste to the rivers and the atmosphere. Waste from companies may have long-term and short term effects on the people living nearby. Protecting the environment is not about waste alone; cutting trees also harms the environment. Businesses should be socially responsible to the people living nearby failure to which the company's products might be boycotted.

In 1989, Mitsubishi Corporation was boycotted due to the destruction of forests in America and South East Asia (Ardichvili et al., 2009). The boycott affected the sales of the corporation in a great extent. Some activists are the ones who led people to boycott the products. In 2001 some nine multinational companies belonging to Mitsubishi were fined a total of 313.7 million Euros by the European Commission (Ardichvili et al., 2009). Mitsubishi later agreed to follow all the guidelines to preserve the environment.

The enforcement of environmental regulations is different in various countries. Developed countries are often strict on matters of the environment compared to the developing countries. Sometimes a multinational company may be polluting the environment in a developing country, and the license is not canceled. The ethical dilemma is that the firm is contributing to the development of the country, and on the other side, it is putting to risk the lives of the people. In most developed countries like the United States, it does not matter the contribution of the company to the country's economy. As long as it is polluting the environment, the license is canceled.


Corruption is predominant in many countries. When a business goes global, it is faced with many corruption dilemmas. From the point of establishing the company, there is an option of bribing to get some licenses faster. Most of the time, people are not patient enough to follow the queue to be served when their times come. There are many forms of corruption, but people notice only bribery. For example, during hiring, the management should ensure that there is a diverse workforce. Sometimes managers are tempted to employ people from their own family, tribesmen, friends, or people of a certain race. Other citizens may decide not to buy from the company when they realize that the workforce is not diverse. In other cases, managers require some sexual favors before employing a staff of different sex. Such behaviors are unethical and should be punished by individual organizations.

Some international companies engage in corruption due to the fear that other companies are doing the same, and they want to remain competitive (Tsalikis & Seaton, 2007). Corruption starts when the firm does not want to follow the government's regulation. When the company fails to observe the set standards of some rules like environmental policy, they bribe so that their licenses will not be canceled. Other times a company may want to bribe the tax collection bodies so that they will not pay taxes in full. Sometimes companies give some money to influential people who may be in politics so that the company can get some favor in getting or keeping some business. Such conducts are unethical. The central ethical dilemma comes in because of the argument that other firms are doing it.

When deciding to go global, organizations are supposed to understand the level and type of corruption in the country. Some parts take bribery as the norm and hence have a high index of corruption. Corruption makes the cost of doing business to be h...

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Essay Example on Going Global: Essential Ethical Standards for Businesses. (2023, May 23). Retrieved from

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